Search found 500 matches

by camillus
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Grand Cayman & dieting [while on vacation]
Replies: 40
Views: 2622

Re: trip to Grand Cayman & dieting

I really appreciate this board and all the replies above. I asked this question here because of a few reasons: 1) People here are exposed to luxury vacations 2) People here are typically conscientious, self-aware, and self-disciplined - in finance but also often regarding health 3) People here tend ...
by camillus
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing overall medical costs. Do we do anything?
Replies: 67
Views: 3060

Re: Reducing overall medical costs. Do we do anything?

I didn't real the whole thread, but here are some thoughts: 1) The idea of a HDHP with an HSA was allegedly intended to help reduce the cost of American healthcare. For the past several years my family has had coverage this way, and it seems to work well. We've hit our deductible twice, and even so ...
by camillus
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feedback on Kai-Zen premium finance life insurance plan
Replies: 16
Views: 1141

Re: Feedback on Kai-Zen premium finance life insurance plan

I don't understand how this plan has an advantage over investing in a taxable account.
by camillus
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to stop putting money into an older vehicle
Replies: 88
Views: 5778

Re: When to stop putting money into an older vehicle

I almost bought a 2008 Honda CRV for $7000 I just wanted to point out that either strategy, keep the old car or buy the less-old car, is a probably a good one from a "cost to own" point of view. I suppose I would minimize angst about the decision by resolving to start a sinking fund and thinking ab...
by camillus
Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Grand Cayman & dieting [while on vacation]
Replies: 40
Views: 2622

trip to Grand Cayman & dieting [while on vacation]

Hi all, I'm going to Grand Cayman in November with my wife and kids, my parents, and my siblings' families. I suppose I'm looking for recommendations of things to do there that are enjoyable for a group of adults, but also with an infant and 4 year old (my kids). Additionally, I've been on a calorie...
by camillus
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter - chat
Replies: 34
Views: 1768

Re: West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter - chat

The Northpointe 5% has an interesting story. Apparently one representative from the bank was working with Doctor of Credit to publicize the account, unfortunately, Northpointe got loads and loads of applicants that did the bare minimum to earn 5% all the way up to the max balance - often with 10 or ...
by camillus
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making Winter Camping more comfortable
Replies: 39
Views: 2618

Re: Making Winter Camping more comfortable

I'm on an airbnb kick lately.

I would suggest looking at airbnb in the area you would like to camp. There might be a little cabin available, maybe primitive, maybe not.
by camillus
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:12 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter - chat
Replies: 34
Views: 1768

Re: New West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter Established

I suppose one thing we can discuss is how best to take advantage of local resources, for instance, we have some great credit unions.
by camillus
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing a better retirement 401k fund on TIAA
Replies: 6
Views: 419

Re: Choosing a better retirement 401k fund on TIAA

For what it's worth, I also have a TIAA 403(b) with a similar fund selection. I anticipate someone replying to you saying you should look into the TIAA Real Estate and TIAA Traditional (which you did not list). IMHO, these are consolation prizes for being stuck with TIAA, although Trad can be used t...
by camillus
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social considerations with gaming credit cards
Replies: 21
Views: 2506

Re: social considerations with gaming credit cards

Everyone is playing the numbers: the consumer, the merchant, the card issuer. The consumer is trying to reduce costs of consumption, or maximize rewards. The merchant is trying to increase volume by making purchasing convenient. The issuer is trying to entice sign-ups and higher balances. Each party...
by camillus
Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should i submit geico claim or not
Replies: 10
Views: 487

Re: should i submit geico claim or not

One important question is what is your deductible.

Still, I would just pay out of pocket.
by camillus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."
Replies: 75
Views: 9028

Re: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."

She believes that SS is in real jeopardy, and counting on receiving benefits on almost any level is a mistake... She believes that unemployment will be 25% in a decade or two, and that tax rates will increase dramatically. This is a near apocalyptic scenario. Unemployment in 1933 was 25%. Most reti...
by camillus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA for myself and wife
Replies: 7
Views: 381

Re: Roth IRA for myself and wife

Here are the points I am seeking for suggestions: - is it wise for the wife and my Roth to have the same funds or should we diversify the accounts? - is it wise to have the Roths be the same as funds in our portfolio? Your two new Roths can and perhaps should hold the same funds as each other and a...
by camillus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Student Performance Issues
Replies: 83
Views: 4501

Re: College Student Performance Issues

"Dear DD, Your father and I love you very much and want to do everything we can for you to succeed and have a lot of joy in your life. We know that being in college is very exciting, making great friends and being around new people, but we are concerned that you aren't taking the academic side of th...
by camillus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% loan to family member
Replies: 44
Views: 2631

Re: 0% loan to family member

You now need to track these payments from your brother. I can see him saying “I paid it all back and want my fair share” as the estate is settled. It would be easier if you tracked these payments as they happened (or don’t happen) versus trying to go back through your father’s records. Just a thoug...
by camillus
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Losing Passion for Hobbies. Cheap or normal aging?
Replies: 71
Views: 8980

Re: Losing Passion for Hobbies. Cheap or normal aging?

I think it's okay to set things aside. I think you'll find you'll eventually return to them and they will come back quickly. Meditating sounds like a new hobby. Personal finance and frugality is also a hobby. I am 35 and have to young boys. I have recently started more physical activity (weight lift...
by camillus
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to get $100k cash
Replies: 86
Views: 7631

Re: Best way to get $100k cash

Donate a LOT of plasma.
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt
Replies: 8
Views: 891

Re: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt

Every $420 of additional earnings increases your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings by $1. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, your AIME is probably below the second bend point ($5336 in 2017, corresponding to an average annual salary of $64,032), so that increases your Primary Insurance Amount by 32 ...
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emotional Investor - I'm a mess and need help!
Replies: 83
Views: 6356

Re: Emotional Investor - I'm a mess and need help!

I haven't looked recently into the fees in Betterment, but I think they are on par with Vanguard services. Betterment just seems really slick. I don't use them, but I am a fan. The claim is that the automatic tax loss harvesting pays for the fees. Again, the interface is just really slick. If I had ...
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: squeaky lock and hard to turn key
Replies: 18
Views: 1033

Re: squeaky lock and hard to turn key

If you take a good look at the lock mechanism, you might be able to disassemble the whole thing fairly easily and coat everything with oil or WD40 (or graphite, apparently). That will get it in tip top shape. I did this recently with all the 90 year old interior locks around my house upstairs. It wa...
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emotional Investor - I'm a mess and need help!
Replies: 83
Views: 6356

Re: Emotional Investor - I'm a mess and need help!

Stated goal: Find a way to be more involved in investing.

Problem: You are a horrible investor. Sorry.

Solution: Change the goal so that you are involved as little as possible with your investing.
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of rabbits
Replies: 66
Views: 3711

Re: How to get rid of rabbits

I have rabbits in my yard and they just eat the clover :happy
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we pay off $90K mortgage with idle cash or not?
Replies: 46
Views: 5801

Re: Should we pay off $90K mortgage with idle cash or not?

I am not brave enough to click on a link without any surrounding information.

I'll answer the question without clicking: No, invest that money per your AA.
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you define your success in our life, career and job?
Replies: 25
Views: 1824

Re: How do you define your success in our life, career and job?

I'm a religious person, so a good part of the answer to this question has to do with that. Being highly paid or wealthy is actually not a direct indicator of success for me. Rather: to do meaningful work and to be improving at it, to live in security and provide a stable home for my family, to provi...
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which do I pick? Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?
Replies: 36
Views: 2630

Re: Which do I pick? Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?

Some benefits to a Roth IRA for young people:

1) Contributions can be withdrawn in case of emergency or other circumstance
2) Earnings can be withdrawn without penalty for school or down payment
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8728

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:20 am
And what credit union is this?

I've never seen 3% on checking in the present era.
https://www.bankrate.com/banking/checki ... unt-rates/
by camillus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8728

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

My B&M credit union gives me 3% on my checking balance. And my 4 year old really does like the lollipops. When I ask him what he wants to do, he will sometimes say go to the bank. Free coffee for me (though often too hot). I go probably every other month to get cash in different denominations for ba...
by camillus
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which do I pick? Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?
Replies: 36
Views: 2630

Re: Which do I pick? Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?

I agree with the Roth. Given your age and that you are at the beginning of your earnings curve, a Roth makes more sense. Particularly given the relatively low federal income tax rates. When your salary moves up or if tax rates increase, you can revisit that decision. As a person with more in a tIRA...
by camillus
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a To-do app please.
Replies: 26
Views: 1936

Re: Recommend a To-do app please.

Paper journal. Each list is indexed by a Table of Contents. Each page can be a different breakout list for a new project. Different lists for work & home. You can take a photo or just rip out the page if you need a shopping list or to remember something for an errand. You can make simple spreadsheet...
by camillus
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?
Replies: 36
Views: 2325

Re: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?

Do you have more details about your dad's situation? I've never heard of a HELOC being cancelled per see during 2008. The only thing I've ever seen is that a bank reevaluted the property value, discovered the owner no longer actually had any equity due to their outstanding mortgage, and reduced/rem...
by camillus
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Coverdell ESA Asset Allocation
Replies: 8
Views: 633

Re: Coverdell ESA Asset Allocation

Here's an alternative approach: Continue to go 100% stock in your ESA, but increase your bond position in your 401k. Why? 1) This takes maximal advantage of the tax benefit of the ESA, ie growth is tax free if used for education. 2) Your total risk stays about the same as if you added bonds to your...
by camillus
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?
Replies: 36
Views: 2325

Re: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?

Fun story. My dad was reliant on a HELOC to pay for my two younger sibs to go to college in 2009, 2010. In a true downturn the banks are panicking - trying to limit their exposure to the sky that's falling. My pop's line of credit was reduced to zilch. My sibs were S-O-L. More of a sad story. Debt p...
by camillus
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Coverdell ESA Asset Allocation
Replies: 8
Views: 633

Re: Coverdell ESA Asset Allocation

Here's an alternative approach: Continue to go 100% stock in your ESA, but increase your bond position in your 401k. Why? 1) This takes maximal advantage of the tax benefit of the ESA, ie growth is tax free if used for education. 2) Your total risk stays about the same as if you added bonds to your ...
by camillus
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S
Replies: 33
Views: 2279

Re: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S

I would strongly consider moving to a 7. The SEs do not have access to the full bands of cellular networks. If you want full LTE, they are more or less tied to the carrier they are designed for, and subsequent MNVOs. Buying an SE might be a cost saver, but over the long term you are stuck with a ne...
by camillus
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S
Replies: 33
Views: 2279

Re: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S

I would strongly consider moving to a 7. The SEs do not have access to the full bands of cellular networks. If you want full LTE, they are more or less tied to the carrier they are designed for, and subsequent MNVOs. Buying an SE might be a cost saver, but over the long term you are stuck with a net...
by camillus
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?
Replies: 154
Views: 12119

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

To me, a methodical and graceful resignation will come across better to other employers than getting fired. Should I end up never working again, then I agree. It seems to me that you have some difficulty setting boundaries, proudly saying "I have never quit anything" when hardly anyone here on this...
by camillus
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?
Replies: 154
Views: 12119

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

If quitting is on the table then getting fired could (should?) be on the table too. How about having a conversation with your manager saying that you need to reduce your hours to 50/wk or whatever number is doable for you. If you get fired, you don't want to work there anyways. Plain and simple. I w...
by camillus
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Extravagant Thing You Do
Replies: 304
Views: 52932

Re: What is your luxury good?

Health club membership
by camillus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering an HSA with a baby on the way - good idea or bad?
Replies: 9
Views: 792

Re: Considering an HSA with a baby on the way - good idea or bad?

and max out the associated health savings account I would guess that the HSA plan would pull ahead pretty easily if the employer is going to max out your HSA - $6900. That's the equivalent of $575/mo in subsidized premiums on the PPO plan. Another way to look at it is take the $6900 and subtract yo...
by camillus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3663

Re: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

Just a tidbit to throw in, under the more general topic of lumping deductions. In my locale, property taxes can be paid late, but with a penalty - which seems acceptable to the government. My property tax is due in July, but can be paid the next January for a fee of 6%. You could "double up" your pr...
by camillus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3663

Re: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

My big takeaway is to do what is necessary to start a decent sized taxable now so that in the next 4-10 years when it makes sense to use this strategy I suppose is a reasonable position I should also take. By my calculations, this shows that you (assuming 12k charitable contributions and 12k non-ch...
by camillus
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3663

Re: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

Still doesn't get back Roth space AFAIK. No, you don't get that Roth space back, but you get these benefits: 1) The DAF continues to be invested in the asset class of the former Roth money. 2) You get to do "free" Roth conversions at different points, if you wish. 3) The tax savings spun off by inc...
by camillus
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Slight fear of investing in general now
Replies: 20
Views: 2197

Re: Slight fear of investing in general now

The human brain is interesting. It's a fear machine. That's what makes genes survive. I wonder if there's someone like the OP, who instead wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat - "I wonder if things are much, much more resiliently on an upward trend than anyone realizes?" A part of thi...
by camillus
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1329

Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

I use personal capital, but for asset allocation I also keep a simple spreadsheet.
by camillus
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3663

Re: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

Except you can, and much more. Every year that you itemize, you can make a "free" Roth conversion. (You'd have to decide which you'd rather have, increased Roth space or the tax savings as cash in hand.) I'm not sure I understand this correctly. Years when you're taking the standard deduction doesn...
by camillus
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Credit freezes and un-freezes are now free]
Replies: 58
Views: 2443

Re: Free credit freezes and un-freezes after Sep 21, 2018

DW and I froze all credit (including Chexis and Innovis) after the Equifax breach, paying various fees. Since then we have done a "temporary thaw" once each. It was actually fairly painless. In the "temporary thaw" process you simply go to the website, enter your PIN, and select how long you would l...
by camillus
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Picking a Charity
Replies: 69
Views: 2889

Re: Picking a Charity

First of all, you should look into a Donor Advised Fund. I've been very interested in DAFs lately. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3QTj3607v0 Most of my contributions are given per my faith commitment, including global disaster relief & community development. Here's a good read from MMM on cha...
by camillus
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3663

Re: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

Another thought: If there is a concern that pulling from the Roth to start this strategy is reducing tax-free money in retirement, then one could essentially use the initial 12k added deduction over the standard deduction to do a traditional -> Roth conversion without raising taxable income which m...